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I had dinner last evening with friends and family. As such gatherings go, conversations bounced around to various topics. Somehow current electricity rates came up and I mentioned how much our household paid last month. One of our friends laughed and said, "HaHa!!! My monthly bill is now nothing. We have solar panels."

Me: "That's cool but you had to pay the cost of the panels."

Friend: "HaHa, again!!! Got the panels cheap. Federal and state government rebates paid most of the cost for the original purchase and installation. Plus, now we're a small, independent business — energy producers — who can sell our extra energy back to the grid."

Me: "Sweet! Isn't it great to live in America. And, you built your small business ALL by yourself, right?"

Friend: "Absolutely ... no help from anyone."

My friend and his wife are Republicans who live in a large, fancy home in a gated community. They continually rant about their "high" taxes and "wasteful government spending." When asked about their political leanings, they consider themselves to be "libertarians." People should do for themselves, not rely on government, in their opinion.

Me: "You're welcome!"

Friend: "You're welcome ... for what?"

Me: "For your solar panels. My taxes, and the taxes of everybody in the room, helped launch and support your small business. Isn't it wonderful how we're all connected — just roots of the Tree of Life."

Friend: "Why are you such a troublemaker? This is a fun gathering and you're always turning things around to make everything political."

True story!


Considering your way of life, do you:

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| 21 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Loved the disconnect from reality at the end (4+ / 0-)

    of the story. Sadly, I've got relatives like that as well. When they're making a political point it's not politics. When I point out they're wrong THEN it becomes politics. Basically as long as everyone agrees with them, lies and all, then it's not political. Argh, the stupid, it burns. Good on you for making the point about taxes and government helping them out.

    Many people thought Bush was "the kind of guy you wanted to have a beer with". People are beginning to realize that Romney is "the kind of guy you want to pour a beer on".

    by ontheleftcoast on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 12:05:12 PM PDT

  •  Cute story (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    radical simplicity

    maddening and infuriating, too, but cute.  Congrats to them for their energy efficiency.  

  •  A MORMON FRIEND OF MINE (3+ / 0-)

    Proud graduate of Brigham Young University, once bragged that his alma mater is a private school that takes no money from the Federal Government.  I asked him to honestly tell me that BYU never took every single deduction on their taxes that all educational institutions, private or public, are entitled to.  My friend was silent.  I was not.  He proudly tithes to his church.  That means that he pays 10% of his gross income to his church.  No excuses, no deductions.  I asked him whether or not he deducted that "tithe" from his federal taxes.  Again silence.

    We're still friends

  •  Bravo - continue "planting seeds" of what govern- (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    radical simplicity

    ment has enabled them to do for themselves.

    Your friend probably has never thought about it.  But gave you something they are proud of, and seeds scattered widely occasionally fall on fertile soil.

  •  The bottom line may be this: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wenchacha, radical simplicity

    If you're paying someone to do something for you, you did not do that something all by yourself.  You just gave away money.

    The money you spent does not entitle you to represent the accomplishment as your own even if you own, as property, the business or other object/entity improved by the accomplishment.  If I hire a tile-setter to work in my house, I don't get to tell my friends, "Please admire the new tile floor I built all by myself."  My friends would shame me with their laughter.  Laughing at stupidity may not really be appropriate in the "do unto others" sense, but really it sometimes can't be stopped.  

    Besides, laughter just feels better than anger.  Some business owner wants to tell me he built his business all by himself, after hiring even just one other person to help him make his products or serve his customers? LOL! After borrowing money, even from family and friends? ROFLMAO!  After serving his customers, on whose demand for his goods his business depends?  Hahahahahahahahaha!

    This "I built my business [with my own two hands]" meme is self-soothing Republican fantasy and farther from the truth than Washington D.C. is from the Great Wall of China.  And if we all start laughing at Republicans, Libertarians, and any other fool EVERY TIME they say it, as long and as loudly as we can laugh, saying it will soon stop feeling so good to them.

    No one elected Grover Norquist anything. If everyone ignored him, he would dry up and blow away.

    by vahana on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 01:22:41 PM PDT

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